How we can help you

If you are a serving or a former Merchant Navy seafarer or a family member and are looking for help, Merchant Navy Fund works with a number of maritime charity partners who may be able to help you.

Seafarer Support is a free helpline for serving or former seafarers and seafaring families in need of assistance. Trained advisers will be able to assess your needs and will then pair you up with the appropriate support. They can be contacted on FREEPHONE 0800 121 4765 or via their website.

The Seafarers’ Advice & Information Line (SAIL) is a dedicated advice line for free, confidential and impartial advice about debts, statutory benefits, employment rights and legal issues. SAIL can be contacted on 0800 160 1842 or via their Online Enquiry Service at

The Not Forgotten Association provides events for wounded serving personnel and disabled veterans, which improve physical and mental health, address isolation and loneliness, and promote a sense of community and balance. This enables beneficiaries to live a normal, if not better life.

The Silver Line organises regular free group telephone calls for former seafarers. If you are interested in learning more about the project or connecting with others to talk about shared experiences, please phone 020 7224 2072, or visit their website.

Please note that the Merchant Navy Fund does not give grants to individuals. If you are an organisation looking for funding, please visit our grant funding information page.

Can I receive an individual grant? If not, why not?

The Merchant Navy Fund has been established to raise money for charities supporting UK Merchant Navy seafarers and their families at times of need. If you need help, please get in touch with Seafarer Support who will direct you to the most appropriate charity for your needs.

I’m a Merchant seafarer from outside of the UK – where can I seek help from?

Contact International Seafarers Advice Network on freephone 00 800 7323 2737 or visit their website

We are an organisation supporting UK Merchant Navy seafarers and their dependants. Can we apply for a grant?

Visit our Grant funding page to check if your organisation is eligible for a grant.

Why is this Fund needed, when the numbers of UK Merchant Navy seafarers are reducing each year?

The Merchant Navy employed around 200,000 people at any one time until the 1970s and these people are now in or are approaching retirement. Many of these people had no pension provision and had little chance to accumulate savings.

Equally, there continue to be younger individuals and families who need support due to loss of a partner, serious illness, complex emotional problems, redundancy from the industry etc.

Even with slowly reducing numbers, the needs of people are increasing as they see statutory (government and local government) support reduced.

Will the Fund support causes that provide services to UK Merchant Navy seafarers only?

Any grants awarded by this Fund to charities that support people from other sectors will be required to place the money in a restricted fund to be used exclusively for their Merchant Navy beneficiaries in the UK.

How will The Seafarers' Charity assess the need specifically within the Merchant Navy sector?

The Seafarers' Charity has a long-established knowledge of the charities it supports. Among its trustees are representatives from the Merchant Navy sector. It also receives guidance from the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, which is the umbrella for all Merchant Navy charities in the UK.

Get in touch

To learn more about the Merchant Navy Fund, contact:


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Grant funding

We work with organisations to support UK Merchant Navy seafarers in need and their families.

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Our impact

Since 2012, the Fund has awarded over £700,000 in grants to organisations supporting UK Merchant Navy seafarers in need and their families.

Learn more